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RE: Transylvanian Dinos
Chris Srnka requested information about Transylvanian dinosaurs. In the summer
of 1997, while I was editor of The Dinosaur Report for The Dinosaur Society, we
published an update by David Weishampel on his recent important work on
Transylvanian dinosaurs. The Society is now inactive and even I don't have
hardcopies of the printed version to give to Dr. Weishampel, but I do have the
original text which I reproduce below for you all since it is not available at
the Society website. There were no photos of specimens in this article. David
also did an interesting article on Nopsca (sp) which I will dig up if people
show interest. For further information, one might contact Dr. Weishampel at
Note: this is David Weishampel's original draft. It includes several
foreign-language characters that do not translate into plain text, so you may
see an occasional garbage character.
Dinosaur author at large
1995-1996 Progress Report
The Dinosaurs of Transylvania
Research Funded by the Dinosaur Society
by David B. Weishampel
Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine
The 1995 field season in the Hateg Basin of western Romania concentrated on
collecting specimens and stratigraphic and sedimentological information from a
large bone bed that has been yielding some of the most abundant and diverse
dinosaur material to come from Transylvania. In 1995, we collected important
new material of the basal iguanodontian ornithopod Rhabdodon robustus,
additional postcranial specimens of the dwarfed sauropod Magyarosaurus dacus
(which also appears to be the last sauropod, known from the latest Cretaceous),
material of the cryptodiran turtle Kallokibotium bajazidi, and important
pterosaur remains (the second notarium known from the Hateg Basin; see below).
In addition, we collected a large, very unusual specimen from another site that
may prove to be a portion of the skull of a large theropod; preparation work is
presently underway so that we can make a final determination sometime soon.
Work at the Muzeul Civilizatiei Dacice si Romane Deva, the Magyar cllami
F?ldtani Intzet in Budapest, and the Muse des Dinosaures in Espraza, France,
concentrated on data collection for our description and phylogenetic analysis
of Rhabdodon robustus. In addition, travel to Vienna (co-funded by the National
Science Foundation) provided the opportunity to examine specimens from the
Upper Cretaceous Gosau beds of Wiener Neustadt in the collections of the
Institute of Paleontology, University of Vienna. This fauna, known since the
1870s, is known to contain close relatives of members of the Hateg fauna. In
addition to the dinosaur material, of particular interest was the Gosau
pterosaur specimens, which were most recently studied by Peter Wellnhofer in
1980. Finally, dinosaur and pterosaur material in the N?rodni Muzeum in Prague
were examined in order to make a comprehensive comparison of Late Cretaceous
faunas from central and eastern Europe.
Presentations and Publications
Thanks to funding from The Dinosaur Society it was possible for Weishampel to
attend the Mesozoic Vertebrate Faunas of Central Europe symposium in Deva,
Romania (22-24 August, 1996), and for both Weishampel and Jianu to attend the
Second European Workshop of Vertebrate Paleontology in Quillan, Fmnce (7-10
At the Deva symposium, we gave presentations on a new theropod from the Hateg
Basin (an arctometatarsalian with so-far unresolved affinities), on the
collection of material from the Hateg fauna in the collections of Cluj
University, and on the importance of phylogeny in paleobiogeographic analysis.
The last emphasizes the impact of phylogenetic position on interpretations of
areas of origin of clades, using titanosaurids and hadrosaurids as examples.
At the Quillan workshop, we presented our work on the veiy rare pterosaurs of
Transylvania. This included our rediscovery of Nopcsas original (but
undescribed) pterosaur material, as well as as specimens we recently collected.
On the basis of features of the shoulder and arm region, we are confident that
the Transylvanian pterosaur is a pteranodontid pterodactyloid, perhaps even one
of the basal members of the clade. Equally important is that this pterosaur is
quite small in comparison to its close relatives, suggesting that it, like some
of the other members of the Hateg fauna, may be a dwarf.
On the basis of this work, we also reported on our revisionary efforts
regarding the other European pterosaurs from the Late Cretaceous. The pterosaur
from Czechia named Ornithocheirus hlavatschi is also clearly pteranodontid
that may also occupy a basal position within the clade. Lastly, the humerus
from Nieder?sterreich that Wellnhofer described as belonging to Pteranodontidae
may in fact be a member of Nyctosauridae, a clade known otherwise only from
North and South America.
Publications resulting from funding from The Dinosaur Society and/or relating
to these meetings include:
Jianu, C. -M. and Weishampel, D. B., 1997. A new theropod dinosaur material
from the Hateg
Basin (Late Cretaceous, western Romania), a preliminary study. Sargetia 17:
Jianu, C.-M., Mszaros, N., and Codrea, V., 1997. A new collection of Hateg and
R?pa Rosie material (Dinosauria, Crocodilia, Chelonia) in the Cluj Napoca
University. Sargetia 17: 219-232.
Weishampel, D. B. and Jianu, C.-M., 1997. The importance of phylogeny in
paleobiogeographic analyses, with examples from the North American hadrosaurids
and European titanosaurids, Sagetia 17: 261-278.
Jianu, C.-M. and Weishampel, D. B., 1997, A new theropod dinosaur from the
Hateg Basin, western Romania, in the collection of the Geological Survey in
Budapest. Sargetia 17: 239-246.
Jianu, C.-M., Weishampel, D. B., and Stiuca, E., 1997. Old and new pterosaur
material from the Hateg Basin (Late Cretaceous) of western Romania, and
comments about pterosaur diversity in the Late Cretaceous of Europe. Second
European Workshop of Vertebrate Paleontology Abstracts.
From: Christopher Srnka [SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Sunday, January 03, 1999 11:32 PM
To: List Dinosaur
Subject: Transylvanian Dinos
Could anyone point me to some good refs (preferably drawings and/or
photos of the skeletal remains) for the following:
_Rhabdodon_,_Struthiosaurus_, and _Telmatosaurus_? If none exist,
perhaps some anatomically comparable species? Thanks, please reply